HomeCampusSome Wonder if College President is Being Scapegoated for Athlete's Death

Some Wonder if College President is Being Scapegoated for Athlete’s Death

Wallace LohDays after the forced retirement of University of Maryland president Wayne Loh, some are calling him a “scapegoat.”

The announcement came following the heatstroke death in June of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair after the football staff failed to treat him promptly.

Both the football coach, who was suspended in August, and the athletic director have been allowed to retain their jobs.

“They’re more at fault than President Loh,” sophomore Justin Azmoodeh said to the campus newspaper, The Diamondback. “They’re essentially making him a scapegoat, when they’re the ones who should have been fired.”

Loh reportedly wanted football coach DJ Durkin gone, but the Board of Regents told the president he would be fired if he didn’t keep the coach, according to Inside Higher Ed.   The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the regents also urged Loh to keep athletic director Damon Evans in his position.

“The past several months have been exceedingly difficult for the University, Maryland football, and all who support the Terps following the tragic death of Jordan McNair,” wrote Loh in a blog post announcing his retirement. “As many of you are aware, the independent commission on the culture of Maryland’s football program recently completed their work and provided a report to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. The report states that the university leadership bears some responsibility for the ongoing dysfunction of the Athletics Department. I accept that responsibility. Last August, I accepted legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made in Jordan’s care. I stand by that decision 100 percent.”

An ESPN investigation had described the culture of the University of Maryland football program as toxic. The commission report fell short of that conclusion, but still found fault with the program.

“By definition, Maryland’s football culture was not toxic. … In light of our conclusion that Maryland’s football culture was not ‘toxic,’ we do not find that the culture caused the tragic death of Jordan McNair,” the report says.

Daniel Cutaneo, a first year student at Maryland called Loh’s pending retirement “depressing,” saying Evans and Durkin should be fired instead.

“The entire football team needs to be re-engineered from the ground up,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the president,” he told the Diamondback.

Others were more critical of Loh.

“He’s had a lot of negligence in his time as president, and I feel like it’s finally caught up with him,”  said senior Peter Barrett. “So I’m pretty happy to see him go, honestly.”

Only about 2.3 percent of college presidents are Asian Americans.

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  1. RE: Sime wonder if University President is Being Scapegoated in athlete’s Death:Of course he’s being scapegoated. In the recorded history of humanity, white peoples have done nothing but blame their faults and shortcomings on those they feel are different from them.


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